- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Economic necessity is a slavemaster as cruel as any Stalinist

Posted by: Nikhil Jaikumar ( DSA, MA, USA ) on January 10, 19100 at 16:18:54:

In Reply to: do you not wonder that perhaps there is something wrong with communism? posted by David on January 10, 19100 at 11:53:52:

: Tell me though, after you stand witness to the many murderous totalitarian "communist" states that have sprung up in the 20th century, do you not wonder that perhaps there is something wrong with communism?

That's a silly question. When i look at the numerous communist and socialist success stories, that's what convinces me of what the future of socialism really is. Communism, real communsim, is incompatible with murder and repression. By the way,how about looking for once at the murdrerous record of capitalist states? The 10 million people killed by the Belgians (1908), the 3 million who died as a result of the American war in Vietnam (1973), the Millions of American Indians who died at the hands of the US (1898) the 3 million famine victims in British Calcutta (1943), the 50,000 who died in concentration camps in British South Africa (1901), the 40% of Namibia's population killed by the German Kaiser, the millions of Africans and indochinese slaughtered by the French, the 1.2 million killed by teh Indonesians, the 400,000 killed by American proxy armies in Central America. How come you never mention these crimes.

:That perhaps people just can't handle a society based on love, reflectiveness and creativity? I am perfectly serious, the masses are asses, to put it crudely

That's wehere we differ. Facile generalizations about grousp of people. Shades of fascism right there. aristocratic fascism, no less.

:and that is something that will really not change in the future. People will always be envious, always be greedy, and always try to do better than the next man. Is that bad? Some say yes, some say no.

Not true. Human nature is malleable, capable of good as well as evil. Radical selifishness, of teh type taht capitalism thrives on, is merely inculcated in us by our culture. It's not "innate". The Nazis and the Spencerians were wrong. Inequality, war and selfishness are not the natural state of man.

: Some people, like me, just want to be succsessful in life; that means working hard at a profession I love, raising a family, and being happy.

: : That is what communism is. If the Maoists betrayed everything that communis was really about, then how can you use their failures to impugn the idea of communism? Even if teh Maoists can be subsu,med within the communist rubric, what about the communist regimes which acieved levels of democracy and human rights in some ways superior to those in America, and which achieved great social progress towarsd building a society of freedom and equality?

: All that really matters to me in the end is whether or not people are free.

But what do you mean by freedom?

Is a prostitute who sells herself for money really free?
Is a heroin addict who robs banks to get his fix really free?
Is a migrant worker who works in a dangerous factory to avoid starvation really free?
Is a child who dies because their parents don't have medical insurance really free?
Is a man forced to sleep in subway stations because his pension doesn';t cover the rent, really free?

No. None of these people are free. Freedom, if it means anything, means having a range of choice available to you as to how to find a fulfilling life. It's an obvious fact that the range of choice is wider if you have more money. People in America are only partly free, for ina society ewhere money rules everything, the majority is condemned to have the range of tehir choices severely curtailed by economic nescessity. Eceonomic necessity can be a slavemeaster every bit as cruel as a Stalinist police lieutenant.

Freedom means the freedom of choice. Can a man who never was taught to read freely choose between reading a book and watching a movie?

Can a man who needs quick money to avoid starving exercise much choicse about where to work, where to live, how to live? Of course not.

Even libertarians freely concede that in America tehre is far, far more freedom for teh rich than for teh poor. It's an accepted axionm that the more money you have, teh more free choices you can make. Socialists, nd communitss, want to expand teh range of freedoim for the majority of people by improving their economic standing.
Sometimes some people must lose a little freedom so that others may gain even more. This is not only acceptable, but necessary, from teh standpoint of true freedom.

: Whether or not they have individual liberties. If a communist state protects peoples individuals rights and doesn't coerce it's own people or other people, then good for it.

Do you remember Nicaragua in 1984? Fairer elections than the US? Freer speech than in teh US? More humane criminal laws?

Remember the other communist and socialist democracies (most of tehm "participatory" democracies rather than "representative" ones) thathave graced history?

:So far, what I have seen is that it is in the capitalist states in which freedom is protected and people have individual rights.

But that's not true. See the discussion about freedom above. How free are the poor in America really? They suffer under the slavemaster of economic necessity.

: It is for that reason that I am procapitalist.

This is why I'm a socialist.
: : BTW, just out of curiosity, how old are you? I'm 19.

: I'm 16.

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